How Great the Father’s Love

I never grow weary of the parable of the lost son, as each time I read it, I am reminded of just how great the Father’s love is for each of us. In this story, the son had squandered wealth he should have never asked for, and had sunk to rock bottom. His found himself in the lowliest of positions, destitute and desperate. When the son assessed his situation, he realized that repentance before his father, and a willingness to work as a hired hand were far better options than his present position. So he got up and went to his father. “but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” – (Luke 15:20)

 

The son recognized his sin, repented, and merely hoped to be made a hired hand. Instead, his father ran to meet him from a long way off, embraced him and celebrated his homecoming. God does the same for each of us when we come to Him with a repentant heart. Though we may come, simply hoping to somehow be seen as “okay”, He does so much more. Christ welcomes us, gives us His Holy Spirit to guide us, and we are adopted as sons and daughters of God Himself. We are granted an eternal inheritance that cannot be taken, and provided promises to propel us along our path. May we receive the glorious gift of God’s grace, and welcome with open arms, the compassion conveyed in His embrace.

 

Foolish and selfish,How Great the Fathers Love

the arrogant son;

ran off and rebelled,

lowly position.

When he had squandered,

all that had been his;

he started longing,

for what he fed pigs.

It was then he knew,

that he must repent;

for his father’s men,

lived far more decent.

Perhaps he would hire,

give a chance, employ;

no longer worthy,

to be called dad’s boy.

So the son set off,

he headed for home;

imagine the awe,

as grace was made known.

For while still far off,

his father, he ran;

to greet and embrace,

this shell of a man.

The gifts that he gave,

assured him his worth;

a chance for new life,

a sense of rebirth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You with a repentant heart, You do for us, just as the father did for his son. You meet us where we are, shower us with Your grace, robe us in Your righteousness, celebrate our homecoming, and call us Your own! Thank You that we are welcomed into Your family, no matter where we have come from. Thank You that Your grace is more than enough to cover our sin and shame, and that You celebrate and embrace each of us as we choose You. Forgive us for thinking that You could not possibly forgive us for what we have done, or that another around us does not deserve the mercy and grace that You give. Teach us to see things through Your eyes, so that we too, will celebrate and embrace each and every individual who comes into Your kingdom. Lead us to love others as You unfailingly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they recognize how ready You are to receive everyone who comes. Be glorified O God, as we give and receive Your great love. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

He Watches to Welcome Us Home

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” – Luke 15:20b

photo by The Urban Foxwatcher

This passage is embedded in the Parable of the Lost Son.  What struck me anew, is what an incredibly forgiving and lasting love that that father had for his son.  The love was not dependant on what the son had or had not done, rather it was because the young man, was his son.  In light that the father saw him from a long way off, leads me to believe that he was watching for him, hoping that he might one day return.  Then, when he saw him, skinny and bedraggled, he was overcome with compassion and ran to his boy.  When at last they were standing face to face, the son must have shamefully peered upon his father’s face, expecting scorn or disgust; yet was greeted with eyes full of forgiveness and love, and arms opened wide to embrace and kiss his kid, whom he desperately loved.

I love that this parable is about how God sees us, His created.  No longer are we viewed as sinful and shameful, wretched souls.  Rather, He, the God of the whole universe, sees us as His sons and daughters, because of the atoning sacrifice of His Son.  When we have confessed our sins and have come clean in Christ, our stains are gone and we are seen though His eyes of love.  When we sin, when we fall short, when we run far from Him, He watches and waits to welcome us back into His embrace, as His Holy Spirit woos us unto Him.

This very love that He lavishes upon us, is meant to be shared with the world.  Kindness, forgiveness, compassion – all attributes anointed upon those who draw near.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that even when we were a long way off, You never lost sight of us, nor love for us.  Thank You that You pursue us and show us kindness, love and compassion, despite what we deserve.  Thank You that You sent You Son so that we could be called clean and come before Your heavenly throne, unashamed.  Teach us to display Your heart to the hurting, and You great love to all who have lost their way.  Help us to be ever aware of Your embrace, and may we always be cognizant of Your forgiveness and grace.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present